Those of you that read this regular series know that I am from Hackett, Arkansas, just a mile or so from the Oklahoma border, and just about 10 miles south of the Arkansas River. It was a redneck sort of place, and just zoom onto my previous posts to understand a bit about it.
One of the things that has really changed from when I was little is how telephone calls are made. When I was little, the Bell System (AT&T) virtually controlled all telephone traffic. It DID control all long distance traffic, and many local exchanges. Where it did not care to run lines, AT&T would contract with local or regional carriers.
Some of the local exchanges were part of the Bell System, owned by AT&T, whilst others were independent and operated under contract. The one in Hackett was a Bell System one, but in some even more rural locations independents ruled, and they often chose not to provide service to isolated areas because of the expense of running lines and maintaining them. Remember, back in those days modern multiplex calls on a single line were just getting started, and in those analogue days were not all that good.